Teenagers are more connected today than at any point in human history. We find ourselves in an interesting spot. How can we lead students to spiritually grow in a world where their digital devices are becoming the idols that they need to survive.
A student a few months ago attend an event that I was running. He lost his phone, and swore that someone stole it. He was insistent that the phone was stolen. So, we pulled all the bags off the bus and searched each one. We never found that phone in the bags that night, or on any student.
On the bus ride home, he kept yelling out things like, “I will kill the person who has my phone”, or “if anyone returns my phone I will give them $150”. He later found that phone at the place where he exactly lost it.
This situation made me realize that when you lose something that is more important than the price to replace it, then you have a problem. Tim Keller on twitter stated, “The most painful times in our lives are times in which our idols are being threatened or removed.” This statement is true for students who live in a digital world. If their idols are being threatened or removed, they will freak out.
With that said, 90% of students are on social networks. 78% have a smart phone. How are we going to help students disconnect? We are going to have to find a way.
I would love to know how you are helping students disconnect in your youth ministry?